Ramaphosa and NCCC to discuss move to higher lockdown level in South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa says that he is concerned about the rising number of Covid-19 and that government will meet this week to discuss restrictions.

Answering media questions at an event in Cape Town on Tuesday (22 June), the president said that it might be necessary for the government’s National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to review the lockdown level in the country, News24 reported.

Ramaphosa said that the issue of moving to another level will be discussed by the NCCC, and indications are that government will have to increase the measures that it puts in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 – particularly in Gauteng.

The president noted that the country’s first hard lockdown in March 2020 – which has harder than other countries – did help bring down infections at the start of the pandemic.

Gauteng’s provincial command council is meeting on Tuesday (22 June), with the focus being on the possibility of recommending severe restrictions, similar to those imposed when the country was under the level 4 or 5 lockdowns.

A national NCCC meeting is set to be held on Thursday (24 June) where these and other recommendations will be tabled. However, Gauteng premier David Makhura has already indicated that he will push for a stronger lockdown in the province.

“The pandemic is completely out of control and if we have to do extraordinary things, like to ask for further restrictions above level three in Gauteng, it’s something we must explore,” Makhura said.

South Africa reported 9,160 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday (21 June), taking the total reported to 1,832,479. 69% of these new cases were reported in Gauteng alone.

Deaths have reached 58,795, while recoveries have climbed to 1,656,680, leaving the country with a balance of 117,004 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 2,114,204.

South Africa moved to a level 3 lockdown on 15 June, introducing further restrictions around gatherings, the sale of alcohol and a tighter curfew.

Read: Why Gauteng needs a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown

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